Thursday, November 30, 2017

Fancy Seam Design #30

Today's seam is stitched by Phylis Latham! The design is on page14 of the Crazy Quilting Volume III: Fancy Seam Designs book (available on Amazon). Hugs!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Christmas Soaps are Finished...

...finally! I've been doing a batch every few days to get the variety I wanted for my gift boxes. These are the last...and they are by far the prettiest I think.

These are the new molds I talked about yesterday, and the tops are so pretty! Love the look with the Apricot/Peach fragrance. The soaps are mostly a Goat Milk base so I'm calling these "Peaches and Cream"...which is actually a type of sweet corn we love to grow around here.

This next group is the Lavender Scrub bars; which all have plenty of dried lavender included in the soap. Both of these just have simple circular labels placed on the back.

Lastly, this is a really fun soap that has actual cocoa powder included to get that really dark chocolate layer. The scent is Mint Chocolate, so added a small swirl layer of green tinted Goat Milk base to the top. These look good enough to eat!

Here are the paper wraps for the sliced bars and the circle scent name labels for the odd shaped bars.

Ah, it's good to have a project complete!

If you are interested in just gifting a few bars of soap to friends, co-workers, or family I'd recommend that you don't worry over creating the base soap...but just purchase the Melt'n'Pour variety. It is basically the base soap BEFORE any color, scents, or additive are included. You can make small batches and add scents, colors, and such to each batch. That way, you also don't have to deal with the "nasty and dangerous" lye to create the lye water to react with the various fats/oils used in the base soaps. My favorite place for scents, colors, additives (and they have melt'n'pour soap bases) is Bulk Apothecary. Check them out!

Fancy Seam Design #29

Today's seam is stitched by Phylis Latham! The design is on page14 of the Crazy Quilting Volume III: Fancy Seam Designs book (available on Amazon). Hugs!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Pincushion Assembly Line

I found another scrap of the red velvet, so should get about seven of the Strawberry Trios done...rather than the five I had originally cut out. So, am working to get all of them finished and available to ship.

If you have never created a strawberry pin cushion...consider doing so. They are seriously so pretty...and you can do so many different creative techniques to embellish them.

There are a couple of "tips" in creating these that I thought I'd pass along as I'm doing these.

1) Sew a machine seam around the curved top edge to help "hold" the hand gathering and keep the fabric from fraying as you gather the top.

2) Place your hand gathered running stitches just under the machine sewing line so when pulled they will be pulled against this line. Use a good sturdy cording to gather rather than thread as you'll be pulling it A LOT! This is a Size 50 Merc Cotton...which was given to me; but reminds me of nylon cording it is so strong.

4) Fill the pin cushions with emery to really make them special, they are small enough to use to sharpen your pins/needles with and the extra weight is so nice. If you need emery, I sale it on my Etsy Shop as well as these pincushions. It has to be shipped priority mail...but one cup will last a long time. One cup will fit in the same box as one Trio pincushion you can save postage (I'll reimburse you the strawberry postage amount) by getting both at once. After you fill the strawberry with emery (to about 1/4 from the gathering stitches) a little circle of batting down as a buffer. You may need a pinch of poly fill as well to fill out the gathered top area as you pull it closed.

3) After pulling the gathers tight, hold this tension and begin to "lace" back and forth across the top area (still going under the machine sewing line) to flatten out the top area and smooth down the gathers. Go from side to side with long stitches.

Here you see the medium strawberry top after all of the gathering and lacing has been finished. I've made a last little tacking stitch, but left the loop up I could draw my needle/thread through that. When I pull this thread, the loop will tighten down over it creating  a nice "tie-off". The long tail will remain until all of the embellishing work is finished for the top.

 So, almost all of these are not I'll start the embellishing. But first...I need a nap!

Oh, and don't forget that these special little pin cushions need some lovely pins in them. There are so MANY types of pins on the market today. Different styles, colors, lengths, many choices. If you are confused about pins check out this article on Do You Sew that showcases many different types of pins.

Christmas soap is almost done!

At least, all of my Christmas soap is poured. I still have to design labels for today's batches...and get the "presents" all together. Hopefully, I can show you that tomorrow.

I got these new silicone molds, but they are only about 1/2 inch I'm thinking they are probably designed more for cookie baking that soap pouring. But, Apricot-Peach soap will be welcome with pretty designs on top anyway. I'll free these in a little while, and share a photo of the finished soaps tomorrow.

This next group is a Lavender scrub bar, I chose one of the flowers molds to pour these up into. There are dried/crushed lavender buds within the bar and the smell is wonderful!

Last is a Chocolate-Mint bar. This will stay in the mold until tomorrow most likely, just because this large mold take much longer to create a solid bar that the individual bar molds do...even though they are all silicone molds. This also needs to be supported on the sides...which I'm going by stacking my long medicine organizer/butter-dish against one side and my blender/can-opener on the other side. If it is not supported in some way, the side tend to "balloon out", which would make a strange shaped soap. There are wooden frame boxes that hold these, but the one I ordered is not here I'm being "creative".

Hope you are considering making a few of your Christmas gifts this is really fun!


Fancy Seam Design #28

Today's seam is stitched by Phylis Latham! The design is on page14 of the Crazy Quilting Volume III: Fancy Seam Designs book (available on Amazon). Hugs!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Pincushions - Trio of Strawberries!

I'm working on some Christmas presents..and creating these opulent velvet pincushions. They would also work nicely as Victorian style tree ornaments!

These are life-size, the largest has a baby strawberry attached. All three are filled with emery so have a great "weight" to them. All are created from velvet and feel so nice!

All are adorned with beads of glass, crystal, or metal.

The larger has a silk ribbon flower motif at the front accented with tiny glass beads and Krenik metallic braids. The photo does nothing to show off the subtle differences in the 3 greens used, or the lushness of that velvet with silk flowers! Velvet leaves are on the baby and large strawberries.

The single red one is beaded with black crystal flat spacers and glass rocailles. The leaves are glass beads.

Both have beaded hanger tops with metal spacers or caps. The photos are not near as good as the real things, but the sun is setting here so the "natural light" is not so good.

The set could be divided so you could "gift a friend" and still have one for yourself!

I only have supplies for five of don't wait too long if you are looking for a really pretty gift for a sewing buddy, co-worker, friend, or yourself!

You can find them at my Etsy shop!

Fancy Seams #27

Today's seam is stitched by Phylis Latham! The design is on page14 of the Crazy Quilting Volume III: Fancy Seam Designs book (available on Amazon). Hugs!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Working on Gifts... mixing more soaps! Aidan helped me with a few when she was visiting this week....but also took most of those home with her... :)

So, got up and got busy today!

Several bars and some mold variety for folks this Christmas. Found these great and pretty little boxes on Amazon they are called "Chilly Gift Boxes" and are so pretty. Very shabby chic style!

Wish they came in more than just the four colors!

Also, spent some time last night designing little round labels for the back of the molded soaps...and some "wraps" for the bar shaped soaps. I had a blast doing that!


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fancy Seams #19 through #26

More beautiful seams, from Laila Pye! Trying to catch up after Thanksgiving are Seams #19 --

Seam #19:

Seam #20:

Seam #21:

Seam #22:

The next page of seams will be done by Katie Bock, so be sure to jump over to her blog Sewing with Katie and check out her work on Seams #23 through #26 and I'll see you back here on the 27th.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Up for a Quilt-a-Long?

I think I  have "quilt on the brain" lately as I just can't get the Celtic Candy Stripe pattern out of my head.

For the past couple of years actually, I've been doodling and playing around with the idea of changing the Celtic Knot pattern by adding more "ribbons" and still having it on point. I started and stopped several times in re-calculating the size of all of the rectangles in this design.

Then, finally...last month I decided that "enough was enough" and I just needed to stop procrastinating and just finish up this idea. Now...I want to sew it! But have absolutely no time really...but can't get it out of my head.

So, as I always do...I'm pushing myself to get it done beginning the first of the year. I'll be hunting through my fabrics for just the right ones as I have too many to want to go get more (unless necessary...hee, hee!), not sure which variation I'll end up with.

If you want to join in the adventure and create this quilt top along with me...1) get your pattern from the Etsy shop...2) determine the quilt size you'll be making...3) begin your own "shopping" adventure in your stash or at the fabric store...and 4) prepare to begin cutting patches in January! (Hint: When choosing fabrics...go with non-directional prints, tone-on-tones, batiks, or solids. Directional prints or strips will be too difficult to work with as the ribbon turn all sorts of directions.)

Lastly, follow along on the blog in January then for my own progress reports and photos as we proceed.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fancy Seam Designs

Today is Seam #18, Page 12 in the Crazy Quilting Volume III: Fancy Seam Designs book...and is stitched by Laila Pye. Her use of orange, yellow, and green is so fitting of this time of year!

Monday, November 13, 2017

New Pattern - Celtic Candy Stripe

I loaded the Celtic Candy Stripe pattern to my Etsy shop this morning. This elevates the basic Celtic Knot Pattern by adding more "stripes" to the design of the center medallion.

This allows the creation of a variety of color combinations for the medallion; by creating each ribbon in a different color...

... or duplicating a couple of ribbon colors...

... or duplicating all three of the outer ribbon colors.

Just as the original Celtic Knot pattern, this quilt is made primarily of squares and rectangles. The only triangles are the corners and center outside background pieces. The pattern is in full color and has detailed instructions with plenty of diagrams to walk you step-by-step through the piecing process. Twin, Double/Queen, and King sizes are possible. I hope you enjoy this new pattern!

Fancy Seam Designs --

The Fancy Seam Designs Stitch-a-long  is a challenge to stitch all 500 seams within Crazy Quilting - Volume III: Fancy Seam Designs, by Kathy Seaman Shaw (available at

Today is Seam #13 (which is on Page 10, last seam on that page).

Next week, Katie Bock resumes here stitching...and will create the seams on Page 11 of the book. you can check out her work on her blog Sewing with Katie and check out her work over the next few days of seams; and I'll post a peek here as well!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Making Soap Bars...

...with friends is a great way to spend the afternoon!

Francis, Pam & I added scents, color, and some surprise things to Melt & Pour soap bases yesterday and really enjoyed our adventure.

And we got some really nice smelling soap as well!

The Melt&Pour was from BulkApothecary and simply is melted in the microwave in small amounts (we didn't even measure...just did a bowl at a time...).

Wonderful silicone molds can be found on Etsy, Amazon, Wish...or other sites by just searching for "soap molds" generally.

I totally recommend this as a great project for a group of friends.

Plus, the clean up was easy...cause it's SOAP!